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he Ramabai Association. 

T^eport of <^nnual OAeeting held 
[March 12, 1894. 



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Of Books Relating to the 
History of Wom|^. 



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REPORT 



OF 



ANNUAL MEETING 



The Ramabai Association 



HELD MARCH 12, 1894 



BOSTON 

PRESS OF GEO. H. ELLIS, I4I FRANKLIN STREET 
1801 






-?■ 



OFFICERS FOR 1894. 



President, 
Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT, D.D. 

Vice-Presidents. 

Rev. E. W. DONALD, D.D. Rev. GEORGE A. GORDON. 

Miss FRANCES E. WILLARD. Mrs. QUINCY A. SHAW. 
Rev. EDWARD E. HALE, D.D. 

Board of Trustees. 

Hon. ALEXANDER H. RICE, Chairman. 
Mrs. QUINCY A. SHAW. Mr. ALPHEUS H. HARDY. 

Miss PHEBE G. ADAM. Mr. ROBERT TREAT PAINE. 

Miss ELLEN MASON. Mr. EUGENE B. HAGAR. 

Hon. JOHN D. LONG. Mr. CLEMENT W. ANDREWS, 

Secretary. 

Treasurer. 
Mr. E. HAYWARD FERRY, 222 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass. 

Executive Committee. 

Mrs. J. W. ANDREWS, Chairmait, 36 Rutland Square, Boston. 
Miss PHEBE G. ADAM. Miss HANNAH A. ADAM. 

Mrs. a. HAMILTON. Mrs. GEORGE A. GORDON. 

Mrs. B. F. CALEF. Mrs. HAMILTON A. HILL. 

Mrs. J. S. COPLEY GREENE. Mrs. GEORGE N. DANA. - 

Recording Secretary. 
Mrs. ELLIOTT RUSSELL, 407 Marlboro Street, Boston, Mass. 

Corresponding Secretary. 
Miss A. P. GRANGER, Canandaigua, N.Y. 



Principal of Sharada Sadana. 
PUNDITA RAMABAI DONGRE MEDHAVL Poona, India. 



637 



":;? M ^ ^ 

:o Qo '-^ c^ 



THE RAMABAI ASSOCIATION. 



The Sixth Annual Meeting of the Ramabai Association 
was held in Old South Chapel, Boston, Monday, March 12, 
1894, at 3 P.M. 

The President, Rev. E. E. Hale, D.D., opened the meet- 
ing with prayer. 

The Recording Secretary, Mrs. Russell, read the minutes 
of the last meeting, which were accepted. 

Then followed the various reports, addresses, etc., which 
are printed in full. 



REPORT OF THE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY. 

At the close of this fifth year since the opening of the 
Sh^rada Sadana in Bombay, I am very glad to be able to 
report a well-sustained interest among the Ramabai Circles 
contributing to its support. A year ago there were seventy- 
four circles auxiliary to the central Association, including 
the fifteen that in previous years had contributed through 
the Branch Association of the Pacific Coast. Since then a 
circle pledging $100 annually has been formed in New York, 
calling itself the Alice Spence-Prentice Memorial Circle, " in 
memory of a little girl dearly loved by the school." Gener- 
ous contributions have again been received from the Ogontz 
School near Philadelphia, which Ramabai visited when in 
this country, and from Miss Porter's School at Farmington, 
Conn., the interest expressed in both cases being so cordial 
that we dare hope for similar assistance in the future. 

Of the circles which have contributed to the work from 
the outset, I should like to name many as deserving special 



commendation, both in the East, in Canada, and in the 
West, did I not know that our Treasurer's statement will tell 
the tale more accurately than I can. Not only do many ful- 
fil their pledges, but a few increase them, though, I regret to 
say, some fail to meet them. Only to the circles originally 
belonging to the Branch of the Pacific Coast is our Treas- 
urer unable to do full justice in regard to amounts con- 
tributed from the first, since, until the last two years, their 
contributions were of course made through the Treasurer of 
their Branch. Thus the San Jose circle, though of necessity 
credited with a much smaller amount, has given since the be- 
ginning $953.25, — a very excellent record. It is pleasant 
also to know that the interest aroused by Ramabai in Hono- 
lulu on her way to India is still alive, and their pledge paid 
annually. The officers of these prosperous circles must re- 
joice to see their untiring zeal thus rewarded, and those of 
the circles which show less interest in Ramabai and her 
work should take courage from their success. 

Mrs. Hobson, the zealous head of the Virginia Branch, 
tells of the fulfilment of their pledge of $150; *and Mrs. 
G. N. Dana, of Boston, reports $157 collected from various 
friends. 

It will thus be seen that, whatever may be the vicissitudes 
through which the work is now passing in India, in this 
country confidence in Ramabai personally, approval of her 
methods of work for this special class so needing help, satis- 
faction at the much she has thus far accomplished, and con- 
fidence in her ultimate success are unabated. 

A. P. GRANGER, 

Corresponding Secretary. 
Canandaigua, N.Y., March 6, 1894. 



TREASURER'S REPORT 

For Year ending Feb. 28, 18^4. 



RECEIPTS. 



Annual subscriptions (including life membership 

fees), $5,139-92 

Contributions to General Fund, 51446 

Contributions to Building Fund, 348'25 

Scholarships, 2,000.00 $8,002.63 

Interest on current accounts, $83.68 

Income (scholarships), 319-08 402.76 

Total Receipts, $8,405.39 



EXPENDITURES, 

Salaries and school expenses, $7,798.25 

Annual meeting, March 11, 1893 (6,000 reports), . 442.36 

Cables, 66,28 

Stationery, postage, printing, etc., 121.58 

Set Encyclopaedia Britannica for school, . . . 32.50 

Magazines, 12.03 

Rent Safe Deposit Box (one year), 10.00 

Expenses Chairman Executive Committee to 

and from Poona, India, 600.00 

Current expenses, $9,083.00 

School property in Poona, India, 3,000.00 

Total Expenditures, $12,083.00 



GENERAL STATEMENT, MARCH i, 1894. 

Life memberships (last 5 years), $1,420.00 

General Fund, 12,002.91 

Scholarships, $8,900.00 

Income, . 796.62 9,696.62 

^23,119-53 

Building Fund, $11,452.48 

Balance (cash) : — 

Provident Institution for Savings, Boston, . $5,675.98 

Suffolk Savings Bank, Boston, 2,819.84 

Bay State Trust Co., Boston, 3,171,23 11,667.05 

^23,119.53 



Total cash on hand, March I, 1893, #i5>344-66 

March i, 1894 11,667.05 

Decrease, $3,677.61 



Total Receipts of the Association, March i, 1894 : — 

Subscriptions, $67,225.67 

Interest, 2,963.90 $70,189.57 

Total Expenditures, 58,522.52 

$11,567.05 



CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC. 



CIRCLES. 



Baltimore, 

*Berea, Ky., Y. P. S. C. E., 

Berkeley, 

Boston, 

" Mrs. Dana's, . . . 

Brooklyn, 

" Plymouth Ch'ch, . 

Bryn Mawr College, . . . 

California Association, . . 

*Camden, " King's Daugh- 
ters," 

*Camden, "Willing Work- 
ers," ._ 

Canandaigua, 

" Granger Place 
School, 

Central City, Neb,, . . . . 

Chelten Hills, 

Chicago, 

Cleveland, 

*Cloverdale, Cal., . . . . 

Cohasset, 

Concord, N.H., . . . . . 

Concordville, 

Constantinople, American 
College, for Girls, . . . 

*Delhi, N.Y., Miss Gil- 
christ's S. S. Class, . . 

Denver, Col., 

Evanston, 111., 

Farmington, Miss Porter's 
School, 

Franklin, 

Fremont, 

Geneva, N.Y., 

Germantown, First, . . . 
" Second, . . 

Gilbertsville, N.Y., . . . 

Hartford, 

Honolulu, 

Indianapolis, 



Sixth Year. 





T3 

C 
3 

4> 

B 


13 

C 

.S 


<:.sS 





M 


$100.00 


^18.33 


.... 


11.40 


.... 


.... 


241.05 


186.61 


$30.00 


157.00 


.... 




50.00 





50.00 


47.00 




.... 


18.00 


.... 


.... 


5.00 


5.00 


.... 


103.00 






16.00 




.... 


10.00 


.... 


.... 


2 II .00 


34-97 


.... 


13.60 






10.00 


.... 


.... 


10.00 


.... 




50.00 




.... 


41.00 








22.00 


2.00 




ikoo 






5.00 


.... 


.... 


75.00 






29.00 




.... 


27.00 


.... 


.... 


30.00 




.... 


110.00 


17.00 


36.00 


51.00 




2.00 


86.00 


9.00 


;;;; 


13.40 


, . . . 


.... 


83.00 








$1,400.00 
100.00 



55550.00 

18.33 

64.90 

17,340.65 

1,201.00 

2,720.00 

101.00 

342.50 

7,155-04 

5.00 

5-00 
784.0Q 

396.85 

113.00 

127.00 

1,918.70 

87-95 

10.00 

50.00 

303.00 

229.50 

45-36 

2.00 
85.00 
25.00 

300.00 
118.25 
155-50 
29875 
1,119.60 

475-29 

423.00 

1,619.75 

30.40 

516.00 



New. 



10 



CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC. — Continued. 



CIRCLES. 



Indianapolis Girls' Classical 
School, 

Ithaca, Cornell University, . 

Jacksonville, 111., .... 

Jamestown, N.Y., .... 

Kansas City, 

Lansing, 

Leroy, 

London, Ont., 

Los Angeles, 

Louisville, 

Luverne, 

*Marengo, 111., W. C. T. U., 

Montclair, 

*Montesano, Wash., . . . 

Montreal, 

Naperville, 

New Haven, 

New Hope, Pa., .... 

New York, 

* " "Alice Spence- 

Prentice Memorial," . . 

New York, Miss Merrill's, . 
" Missionary So- 
ciety, Church of the 
Strangers, 

Niagara Falls, 

Normal, 111., 

Northampt'n, Smith College, 

Nyack, 

Ogontz, Pa., Ogontz School, 

Orange, 

Oswego, 

Pasadena, Cal., 

Pawtucket, R.I., .... 

Petaluma, Cal., .... 

Philadelphia, 

" Josee, . . . 

" Manorama, 

" Sahaya, . . . 

Pine Bush, N.Y., .... 





Sixth Year. 








1 


c 
p 

M 

.5 
'3 

P3 


'a 


$222.81 
43.00 


.... 


.... 


$100.00 


15.00 


.... 




..., 


20.00 

142.00 
52.00 


$53.00 
15.00 


$29.00 


.... 


40.00 
110.00 


11.36 
3.00 


23-25 


100.00 


' 66.3 i 

9.00 

297.00 


15.00 





.... 


' ' 8.00 


.... 




100.00 


22.00 
16.00 




.... 






252.50 

2 1. CO 

76.62 




■:::. 




;;; 


56.00 
57.22 
65.00 
22.00 
82.00 




25.00 
5.00 




... 


159.00 
64.25 
11.00 


47.00 
10.00 


.... 







*New. 



II 



CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC. — Continued. 



CIRCLES. 



Plainfield, N.J., 

Plainville, Conn , . . . . 
*Portland, Ore., . . . . 

Providence, 

Quincy,-Ill., 

Riverside, Cal., W. C. T. U., 

Roselle, N.J., 

Saco, Me., 

*San Francisco, Miss Ham- 
lin's, 

San Jose, Cal., 

Santa Barbara, Cal., . . . 
Santa Rosa, Cal., . . . . 
Sherwood, N.Y., . . . . 

Sioux City, 

Sparkill, 

Springfield, Mass , . . . . 

Stamford, 

St. Louis, 

*Tacoma, 

Toledo, 

Toronto, ....... 

Vineland 

Virginia Association, . . . 
*Warren, 111., Sund'y-school, 
Washington, . . . . . 
Wilmington, Del., . . . . 



Sixth Year. 






c o ij 



^61.46 
14.00 



83-25 
74.00 

15.00 



115-05 
3500 



100.00 
6500 
70.00 

125.00 

34.00 

14.00 

2(500 

300.00 



70.00 
176.00 



$5'i39-92 $51446 



$27 



38 



50 



$148 



$348.25 



$100, 



$2,000 



$454-55 
78.55 
27.15 

630.55 

721.00 

8.op 

126.25 

74.67 

38.00 

381-05 

6325 

10.00 

1,264.95 

415-70 

609 00 

552.00 

8or.o6 

102.00 

34.00 

90.00 

1,754.82 

10.00 

850.00 

4.18 

813-50 
628.36 



$67,225.67 



New. 



E. HAYWARD FERRY, 

Treasurer Ramabai Association. 



ANNUAL REPORT. 

FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE 

COMMITTEE TO THE RAMABAI 

ASSOCIATION. 



Friends and Associates^ — Mr. Baines, the Imperial Census 
Commissioner, in his last census report for India, gives the 
following startling statistics : — 

The population of India is 289,187,315, nearly a quarter 
of whom belong to States ruled by Hindu or Mohammedan 
princes. Only 12,097,530 of this vast population can read 
and write, of whom the women number only 543,495. The 
number of widows of all ages is calculated to be 23,000,000. 
Of these, 10,165 are under four years of age, 51,875 between 
the ages of five and nine. 

It has been often asked why the number of widows is 
so very large, to which question there are two conclusive 
answers. 

First. Young girls and even infants are often given in 
marriage to old men, who, soon dying, leave their young 
brides widows forever. " Once a widow, always a widow." 

Second. As an unmarried girl is a disgrace to the entire 
family, the poorest father will pay whatever sum he can collect 
to almost any man who will marry his child. Therefore, in 
some parts of India men have made it a trade to go from 
town to town, marry the young girls offered them, and collect 
the fees for their own support. Thus one husband may 
leave fifty or even a hundred child-widows who never saw 
his face after the marriage rites were performed. Happily 
for India, this practice is growing in disfavor in the places 
where it has prevailed. 

Butw^e are told that there are no "infant" marriages here. 



13 

An answer to this statement is found in the following extract 
from the Mysore Census Commissioner's report, — the report 
of one district alone : "In the first year of their existence 
seventy-four Hindu female children were carried by their 
parents through the forms of marriage. In the second year 
children of both sexes figure on the matrimonial stage, 
although the girls outnumber the boys, as being more easily 
immolated. In the third year the proportion is still higher; 
while, in the whole period from one to five years, 512 boy- 
husbands against 11,175 girl-wives are recorded as travesty- 
ing the sacred rites of marriage. A still greater dispropor- 
tion is presented in the next quinquennial age period, which 
gives as many as 180,947 wives against 8,173 husbands." 
An editor of a native paper comments on this report as fol- 
lows : " One cannot but exclaim, ' Horror ! ' at the siglit of 
these figures. Think of seventy-four baby-wives, or rather 
they are literally infant-wives according to the root meaning 
of the word ! Is not this 'immolation ' of so many innocent 
souls ? . . . We are a nation of slaves in almost every sense 
of the word, and we must be saved from ourselves in spite of 
ourselves. But who is to be our savior ? " 

We have also been told that the life of the child-widow is 
not so hard and pitiless as represented ; that the majority 
have happy homes, and they yield cheerfully, bravely, to the 
restrictions custom or religion place upon them. Why, then, 
are the shaven head and the coarse white garment " badges 
of shame " ? Why are the bodies emaciated and disfigured 
by starvation and cruel blows ? Why the sullen, joyless ex- 
pression of the face ? Why so many suicides and lives of 
shame among the child-widows ? Let him who believes such 
statements, though made by the Hindus themselves, come to 
the Sh^rada Sadana, listen to the pitiful histories of some of 
its inmates, see the white marks of the hot iron on the head, 
the little white scars made by sharp finger-nails meeting in 
the tender flesh of the face, — as I have heard and seen all 
this, and much more, — and he will not only know the truth, 
but he will feel it a privilege to do something for these unfor- 



14 

tunate children, though it be only the giving of a kind word 
and a glance of tender sympathy. He will feel it a privilege 
to assist the one woman who dared to stand forth the de- 
fender of her sisters' rights, and still dares to advocate edu- 
cation and freedom of thought for them, in the midst of 
opposition, misrepresentation, and the desertion of friends! 

It was for the high-caste child-widows, whose lives are 
often more pitiable than the lives of the low caste, that Pun- 
dita Ramabai made her appeal to the American people, — an 
appeal almost phenomenal in its success. 

Five years ago to-day she stepped on the shores of her 
native land, after an absence of six years, with an assured 
income for a ten years' trial of her unique, humanitarian en- 
terprise. The month and eleven days that others would 
have taken for rest, after two years of unremitting work in 
America and a long rough voyage hither, she occupied in 
preparing for the opening of her school, which was done 
March ii, 1889. ^^ ^^^^ now reached the sixth milestone in 
its course. A pause here and a brief backward look may 
bring cheer and encouragement in the present unexpected 
crisis, and furnish wise lessons for future guidance. 

The Sharada Sadana opened with one child-widow Godu- 
bai — to whom it was a deliverance from death — and a non- 
widow, Sharada, the child of a reformer, a member of the 
Brahmo-Somaj. Soon the number of pupils began to in- 
crease beyond the most sanguine expectations, but with 
the success came doubts and opposition. Hindu and Chris- 
tian alike suspected the neutral policy of the school, and the 
excitement grew strong. The Bombay Advisory Board stood 
by Ramabai. But they wisely decided that the request of 
several parents for a missionary to give religious instruction 
to their children within the Sadana could not be granted. 
The Executive Committee also felt that the confidence with 
which the orthodox Hindus had placed their girls under the 
care of Christian teachers, knowing what that influence must 
be indirectly, should be respected, and even the appearance 
of breaking faith with them must be avoided. 



15 

In the records of the meeting of the Advisory Board, 
March, 1890, one finds a resolution to the effect that, for re- 
*iigious instruction given outside of the Sadana, parents and 
guardians must be held responsible. With that understand- 
ing several pupils were allowed to go outside of the Home 
for such instruction. And no child was admitted to the 
Pundita's private prayers whose parents did not so desire or 
who was not of age to act for herself. 

At the close of the first year Ramabai had the joy of find- 
ing twenty-seven girls confided to her care, twelve of whom 
were child-widows. The admittance of non-widows from the 
first was strongly advocated by the Bombay Advisory Board. 
Their reasons seemed so sensible that the Executive Com- 
mittee approved, with the understanding that, when the com- 
plement of widows should be obtained, the admittance of 
non-widows must cease. Another proviso was that they 
should not be an additional expense to the Association. 

Former reports have given particulars of the removal of 
the school to Poona during the fall of 1890. To the re- 
moval at that time, and especially to Poona, the Bombay 
Board were strongly opposed. And in justice to them it 
should be said that results have proved their objections and 
fears to have been well founded. At that time Miss Hamlin 
was with Ramabai, to assist her in the business arrangements 
of the school, to advise with her, and to act for the Executive 
Committee in any emergency requiring prompt action. She 
saw great advantages in the Poona location ; and after the 
removal she was unwearied in her efforts to obtain child- 
widows, and to make the school yet more successful. At 
her suggestion a Provisional or Managing Committee was 
formed, to relieve Ramabai of some of the many responsibil- 
ities devolving upon her. As you know, some features of 
this experiment were not consistent with the constitution of 
the Ramabai Association. They were not approved by the 
Executive Committee. The Managing Board dissolved its 
connection with the Sadana August, 189 1 ; and Ramabai was 
instructed to resume the entire management of the school and 



i6 

home, and to return to the original policy, which was one of 
freedom as well as neutrality. Some of the members of the 
Managing Board remained Ramabai's friendly advisers, and^ 
the affairs of the school were again peaceful and prosperous. 
During that year a " compound " with two bungalows was pur- 
chased by the Association through Ramabai, that the Sadana 
might have a permanent abiding-place. During the spring 
and summer holidays Ramabai devoted her entire time to 
the preparation of buildings and grounds for the school, 
which was reopened July 26, 1892, under the most flattering 
auspices. Old friends and new friends rallied around her, 
and never were they more enthusiastic in their congratula- 
tions and praises. During the next twelve months nothing 
occurred to disturb the prosperity and happiness of the 
Home. Its success was unparalleled. In one year the num- 
ber of pupils increased to sixty-two, forty-nine of whom were 
widows ; and Ramabai was instructed to admit no more non- 
widows. 

In the midst of this sunshine a storm burst upon Ramabai 
as unexpectedly as lightning from a clear sky. Old charges 
of disloyalty were renewed. New charges of flagrant at- 
tempts at proselyting were made. The papers became abu- 
sive and indecent. Anonymous letters threatened Ramabai's 
life. Teachers and pupils trembled with fear whenever she 
went out of the "compound." The Advisory Board severed its 
connection with the Sadana by publishing its resignation in 
the principal papers before sending it to the Executive Com- 
mittee. Their circulars to the people and letters to parents 
and guardians were followed by the sudden withdrawal of 
twenty widows from the school. At this crisis the Executive 
Committee felt justified in furthering the desire the Chairman 
had long felt of visiting Ramabai as a friend, by defraying 
the expense of the journey to and from India from the general 
treasury, that she might go as an officer with some authority. 
To the Association, therefore, and to friends in and out of 
the Association, am I gratefully indebted for the pleasure of 
being here, although with more responsibility than I first 



17 

anticipated. This will explain the personal feature that 
must now appear in the report. 

After a very rough voyage of five weeks I arrived at Bom- 
bay at noon of Christmas Day. Ramabai was on the wharf 
to greet me with a joyful welcome, and Wednesday night I 
recognized the road leading to the entrance of the Sharada 
Sadana. The reception by teachers and pupils, as we 
passed from the gate to the veranda of the home bungalow, 
was sweet and touching. But the sweetest and most touch- 
ing feature of it all was the joy with which Ramabai was 
received after an absence of a few days only. It spoke 
sadly and eloquently of hearts that had been starved, of 
natures that had been warped, but that are now expanding 
and blossoming under the gentle influence of their "dear 
Bai's " loving kindness and motherly watchfulness. 

Monday, New Year's Day, was the day for giving each 
pupil a new sari, fruit and sweetmeats, with which simple 
presents they are much more delighted than many Christian 
girls with costly gifts. As each girl received her sari from 
my hand, she wished me " A Happy New Year " in English. 
Some were shy and constrained : some were prompted, hav- 
ing learned the sentence for the occasion ; but all laughed 
merrily at my attempt to return the greeting in Marathi, also 
learned for the occasion. 

The holidays closed on Wednesday; and I now began an 
investigation of facts connected with the trouble that has 
so seriously affected the school. Both sides have been pre- 
sented by Ramabai, teachers, parents, friends, and members 
of the late Advisory and Managing Boards. Unfortunately, 
the Chairman of the Advisory Board has been, and is still, 
too ill for an interview. I have tried, prayerfully, to see, 
hear, and judge from both standpoints, the Hindu and Chris- 
tian, and to place before you impartially the results of the 
investigation, that you may decide if any compromise could 
have been made. 

The late Managing Board had, during its control of the 
school, made it strictly Hindu in its workings, allowing no 



i8 

freedom to parents who desired their children to attend pri- 
vate prayers or to receive religious instruction outside of 
the Sadana, or to the girls of age and capable of choosing 
for themselves. No such restriction, however, was placed 
on those girls desiring to go to the Hindu temple. Rama- 
bai was forbidden to enter dining-room, kitchen, or corridor 
while the girls were taking their meals, while those who en- 
forced this rule often sat with Christians. 

When the Managing Board dissolved, and Ramabai was 
instructed to resume the old order of affairs, she admitted 
to her prayers the children of parents who desired it ; and 
these were allowed to receive Christian instruction outside, 
as before. It may be well to state here that Ramabai, at 
the morning service in her own room, never speaks of 
dogma or creed. Her talks are of the wonderful power and 
love of the Creator in preparing this beautiful world for his 
children, or it is some moral lesson that shall teach them 
the beauty and ^sweetness of pure unselfish lives. If an 
orthodox Hindu father could listen to these talks, and see 
the earnest faces of the girls kindle with delight as Rama- 
bai's words, simple, but inspiring, touch their hearts, he 
would never fear the influence of such lessons. 

Ramabai also resumed her seat in the dining-room with 
those pupils whose parents do not rigidly observe the caste 
rules in their own house. A Brahmin can eat with a Chris- 
tian without offence if he neither sits in the same line with 
him nor touches him, and if there is nothing movable on the 
floor, like carpet or mat. But the very orthodox Brahmin 
will not do even this; and to the girls of such parents Ram- 
abai gives a room adjoining the one she sits in, so particular 
is she that they shall not break their home rules. 

Under a year's regime of this kind the school flourished 
as never before. Then came this storm. Malicious reports 
of conversions, baptisms by scores were circulated, and 
came to the ears of the members of the late Boards. They 
came to Ramabai. She told them there had been neither 
conversions nor baptisms, that she had simply returned to 



19 

the old policy, as instructed. They demanded a return to 
the old restrictions at once. . They were told that this could 
not be done without first communicating with the Executive 
Committee. She would write or they could do so. But no, 
they were being compromised with the people ; and she must 
act at once, or they should resign and publish their resigna- 
tion immediately, which they did, and sent out the circulars 
and letters alluded to. One of the first withdrawn from the 
school was Sharada, one of the first two received into it. 
This was followed by the withdrawal of twenty widows, 
many of whom were placed at once in the Poona High 
School, in which our late advisers are largely interested. 
This school for several years has been in danger of losing 
the government grant, because of the small number of high- 
caste girls in it. It would have been refused last year but 
for Rukhmabai's strong appeal in England, and the entire 
support of it would have fallen on the natives. Some of the 
members of our late Boards here are now supporting some 
of the Sadana widows at this school. They have pledged 
themselves to the payment of twelve rupees per month " for 
the benefit of the pupils who are withdrawn from the 
Sharada Sadana and placed in the Poona High School." 
Through some blunder of the collector of the fees, this paper 
was brought to Ramabai two weeks ago. These gentlemen, 
I regret to record, while holding the control of the Sadana 
in their own hands, never gave so much as a pice towards 
its support. On the contrary, a widowed relative of one of 
the advisers, with her child, for more than two years, had 
education, board, and clothing at the Sadana, entirely free 
from expense. She has been withdrawn without a word of 
explanation, apology, or gratitude. 

The gentlemen vindicate their course by saying that they 
were being compromised with the people, — that during all 
the past year they supposed Ramabai was pursuing their 
line of policy. They had assured the people that the school 
was strictly Hindu, with no religious freedom to even those 
desiring it. They supposed they were acting with the sane- 



20 



tion of the Ramabai Association. It is difficult to under- 
stand how they have continued under this impression after 
receiving the Executive Committee's letter at the time of the 
dissolution of the Managing Board, which was written in no 
equivocal terms. 

In conversation with some of the gentlemen, regret was 
expressed that they had been quite so hasty with the resigna- 
tion. They thought it might have been better to consult 
first with the Executive Committee. But, when asked if they 
would allow any freedom to parents or children of age, their 
reply was an emphatic " no." Some had no objections per- 
sonally, but the prejudices of the orthodox Hindu must be re- 
spected. The rights of an unorthodox Hindu are not to be 
considered. 

These gentlemen were very unwilling to listen to Rama- 
bai's explanation of certain charges which had been made 
against her, — explanations which completely exonerated her. 
But, though convinced that she is in the wrong, they express 
unbounded admiration, honor, and affection for her still ! All 
this leaves one with the impression that the theories and 
practice of some of the great reformers are widely at 
variance. 

We, free-born Americans, cannot understand the power that 
caste and caste rules have over the educated, cultivated men 
of India, that cause even reformers to draw back when their 
theories are put to the test. Some years ago a reformer, 
whom I have met here, was one of seven men, called "the 
seven sages," to sign a pledge that, when his wife should die, 
he would marry a widow. In course of time the wife died, 
and straightway he took unto himself a young damsel of 
twelve. In course of time the other six died likewise. This 
same reformer, not long ago, was found guilty of taking " a 
social cup of tea with Christians." He had often done it 
without being reported to the high priest ; but this was once 
too often. He was threatened with excommunication from 
his caste ; and, instead of braving this, he endured the most 
humiliating of purifications. 



21 



There is one fact that cannot be ignored. Our late ad- 
visers are men of education, cultivation, and influence, and 
they have dealt a blow to this school and home to recuperate 
from which may require months, and even years ; but we pray 
that it may not be so. As if in answer to this prayer, the 
father of Sharada has come in ; and, as a proof of his sincere 
penitence for the wrong he has done Ramabai, his ingrati- 
tude to her and the Association, he brings Sharada back to 
the school, and a new pupil with her ! He promises to do 
all in his power to undo the harm that has been done. 

The blow that has been dealt was called by the papers 
" the death-blow to the Sharada." It has not killed it : it 
will not kill it ; but the desertion of her old friends and ad- 
visers, and the withdrawal of so many children of her heart 
through their influence, nearly killed Ramabai. If ever she 
needed your loving sympathy and support for body and soul, it 
was when I arrived here. And now, as I listen to the story of 
her trials and sufferings, as I look at the forty and more girls 
whom she is protecting and who are constantly claiming her 
love and care, as I see the once desert compound converted 
in so short a time by her care into a luxuriant garden, and 
the substantial building erected under her sole supervision, I 
wonder that she is alive ! But through all the gloom there 
have been rays of sunshine. Three years ago the Kolhapur 
State authorities sent hither a young girl to be instructed in 
the kindergarten system. Last fall circulars were sent to 
them, with the advice to withdraw the girl from tj^e Sadana. 
They have decided to keep her here two years longer, to be 
perfected in the kindergarten course and to study English 
literature. One young man, who was persuaded to take his 
sister away, returned her in a few days with the message that 
he was satisfied with her report of the school. 

A man in Central India, an orthodox Brahmin, was so 
little frightened by the circulars, letters, and newspaper 
stories that he returned his widowed daughter with the child 
of another daughter. 

Within a few weeks a high-caste Brahmin who lives in 



22 



Poona, and has been warned against the Sadana, has applied 
for admittance for his wife. He is working for a degree in 
Fergusson College, and intends to take a medical course. 
He wants an educated wife, a good housekeeper, and an in- 
telligent mother for the children. He can find in no school 
in Poona ihe practical instruction given here. Especially did 
he desire her to take the kindergarten course, which is not 
taught in the High School, in which so many of the Sadana 
pupils have been placed. 

The kindergarten system is indeed taught here in a 
thorough manner. Ramabai herself has the training class 
of twelve ; and they teach the infant class of twelve. It is a 
special delight to see these little ones, from seven until nine 
in the morning, stringing the colored beads without once 
mixing the colors; to see them going through the simple 
exercises, eager to do their best ; and to hear their childish 
voices in song. The facility with which they learn is won- 
derful. The youngest is but two and a half. Shami is the 
next older ; and in this bright, merry little sprite one cannot 
recognize the wretched babe of a more wretched mother 
whose history was given last year. 

Besides the kindergarten course there are five Anglo- Ver- 
nacular and seven Marathi standards in the school. And 
Ramabai has the satisfaction of knowing that her girls have 
been placed in the High School in the same standard they 
left here, which they reached in less time than is taken in 
other schools. 

All the recitations are now held in the new school build- 
ing, which will be dedicated March ii. This is a two-storied 
stone building, standing opposite and near the home bunga- 
low. An arched door leads into a large vestibule, at each 
end of which is a recitation-room. The centre of the lower 
part is a large hall for the kindergarten classes. It is fur- 
nished with chairs, tables, cabinets, benches, a stand, and a 
piano, Ramabai's gift to the room. On the walls are pict- 
ures collected by her during her absence from India. Black- 
boards are placed on the walls. Outside stairs lead from 



23 

this room to the upper rooms, the centre of which is the li- 
brary, called "The Dean Bodley Memorial Room." It is 
large, airy, and very pleasant. It is used for a study-room 
in the evening, where Ramabai sits at a desk on a platform 
in front of the girls, industriously preparing their lessons for 
the morrow. Four large pleasant alcoves serve as recitation- 
rooms. All are perfectly ventilated. It is a building of 
which Ramabai is, and may well be, proud. 

Now, if you will go with me into the dining-room, you shall 
see the girls at breakfast. We cross the yard, passing scores 
of potted plants, ferns, shrubs, etc., and enter a long, low 
room. On each side of the room is a row of "plats," — 
square pieces of wood well finished, having a knob at each 
corner to raise it slightly from the floor. On each of these a 
pupil is seated on one side of the room. On the other side 
sit Ramabai and the teachers. On the floor in front of each 
a brass platter and bowl are placed. One of the girls ap- 
pointed to serve at this meal drops a spoonful of fried vege- 
tables on the platter ; another follows with boiled rice ; a 
third, with vegetable curry ; a fourth, with a teaspoonful of 
melted butter. These are dexterously mixed with the long, 
supple fingers, and carried to the mouth neatly and deftly 
by the youngest child. Then rice with sour buttermilk is 
served, and unleavened bread with melted butter. Milk is 
given to all who desire it, the children and delicate girls hav- 
ing an extra quantity. This is the diet morning, noon, and 
night, year in and year out, except at tiflin the variety is 
less. 

On holidays there is a treat of fruit and very simple sweet- 
meats. 

If you have the courage to join this meal, you must not 
be surprised if, when you offer the platter to the girl who 
serves you, she refuses to take it. That act would mean 
excommunication for her, should it be reported to the high 
priest ! 

Everything in the dining-room is as neat and orderly as it 
is simple. Into the kitchen we cannot enter now : it would 



24 

be profanation. But into the dormitories and sick wards we 
may look, and shall there find neatness, order, and good ven- 
tilation. Each pupil has an iron bedstead, with mattress, 
sheets, and blanket. It was by the physician's advice that 
the bedsteads were substituted for the floor. A teacher 
sleeps in each dormitory, thus keeping the girls under con- 
stant supervision. 

The teachers are all interested in their pupils, and faith- 
ful in their work. The resident teachers are especially loyal 
to Ramabai, and watchful of her. Malanbai, Miss Stewart 
(English), Pritabai, Matharabai, Mr. Paranjape, are the 
regular teachers ; Mr. Gharpare, music-teacher three times a 
week ; Mr. Pempalkhari, drawing-teacher twice a week. 
Ganderbai Powar, an old friend of Ramabai, guides the 
kindergarten class lessons in music, and looks after them 
generally. She relieves Ramabai in many ways, but receives 
no salary. When questioned about it, her reply was, " If the 
Americans can do so much for my poor sisters whom they 
have never seen, why should not I do this much without pay ? " 

If the death-blow had been dealt the Sharada Sadana, if 
its doors were to be closed to-day, its five years' existence 
would not have been in vain. Five outgrowths would stand 
forth as memorials of its blessed influences. 

Mrsf. Mrs. Nicambe's school in Bombay for high-caste 
child-widows, child-wives, and unmarried girls, is the direct 
outcome of the Sharada Sadana. Mrs. Nicambe is a valu- 
able teacher lost to this school on its removal to Poona. 
Out of pity for the pupils who could not accompany Rama- 
bai, she opened a little school expressly for them, which has 
been wonderfully successful. 

Second. The remarriage of Godubai, the first child-widow 
to enter the Sadana. She had resolved twice to put an end 
to her life, but was restrained by the fear of being again born 
a woman. But for this Home her life might have been one 
of shame. Instead of which she is an educated woman, a 
thrifty housekeeper, and the happy wife of a professor in the 
Fergusson College. 



25 

Third. The interest in the kindergarten system which 
Ramabai has aroused among the people throughout the 
Bombay Presidency, as is shown by the frequent letters of 
inquiry. 

Fourth. The desire the Sadana has created in the hearts 
of \.hQ young men for the education of their wives. It grows 
more and more evident that the freedom of India from 
her bonds of superstition and ignorance depends upon the 
women and the young men far more than upon the older 
reformers, who have not always the courage of their convic- 
tions. 

Fi/ih. Last, but not least, the Sharada Sadana, by some 
means best known to the gentlemen so long connected with 
it, has incited them to an active interest in the welfare of 
their unfortunate sisters, the high caste child-widows, at the 
expense of their own pockets. I am confident that I but 
voice your sentiments in assuring them that no one will con- 
gratulate them more heartily on their success in following 
the example Ramabai set them than the Ramabai Associa- 
tion of America. 

In closing this report, I feel painfully its inadequacy to 
meet your expectations, coming as it does from one " on the 
spot." I can only ask your generous forbearance, and pray 
that in acts and spoken words while here I may not disap- 
point you. 

Yours faithfully, 

J. W. Andrews, Chairman. 

For the Executive Committee. 
ShArada Sadana, Feb. 2, 1894. 



26 



CABLEGRAM RECEIVED FROM SHArADA 
SADANA. 

March 12, 1894. 

Sharada Sadana still lives, and she sends warm greet- 
ings to the Ramabai Association. The anniversary exercises 
have been successful. There are fifty-one pupils in the 
school. Thirty-four are widows. The inmates of the 
Sadana are now happy and hopeful. They send kind wishes 
and grateful love. 

J. W. Andrews. 



TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. 
HEMENWAY. 

Dr. Hale referred to the regret which every person pres- 
ent felt that we have lost the constant and eager service of 
our dear friend, Mrs. Hemenway, who was almost always 
present at our meetings, and from the first had given her 
intelligent assistance to the work of Ramabai. Only a year 
ago, at this meeting, we were expressing our sense of loss of 
Bishop Brooks. To-day we have a similar loss to deplore, 
felt not only by us, but by the whole community. Dr. Hale 
asked that these words, expressive of our regret, might be 
entered upon the records ; and it was so unanimously 
voted. 



LETTERS. 



Letter from the Husband of the First Child- 
widow RECEIVED INTO THE ShARADA SaDANA. 

POONA, Feb. 2, 1894. 

Dear Madam^ — It is really a matter of great and genuine 
pleasure to me to write this letter in response to your wish 
that I should give you an idea as to the change produced in 
my wife, Godubai, by her four years' residence in the Sharada 
Sadana. I feel thankful to you for giving me this opportu- 
nity to express, however inadequately, my feelings towards the 
conductors of that noble institution ; and my only regret is 
that I may not be able to convey to you all that I feel in this 
matter. 

Few outsiders can understand or adequately realize the 
terrible nature of the life which high-caste Hindu widows, 
and especially child-widows, have to lead in our society. A 
girl betrothed at seven or eight may become a widow almost 
immediately ; and from that tender age till she finds relief 
in death she has to live a life of helpless degradation, and 
often of great misery and destitution. Subject to disfigure- 
ment to render her unattractive, shunned even by her nearest 
relatives on all auspicious occasions, compelled to live on 
coarse and unwholesome food, a high-caste Hindu widow is 
a great standing reproach to the Indian society. Absorption 
in religious practices, arising more out of necessity than any 
religious fervor, may, in some cases, somewhat blunt the 
edge of the hardship of her lot. But such enforced asceti- 
cism is in itself a proof of the great iniquity and heartless- 
ness of our social arrangements. Pundita Ramabai has 
already described, in pathetic and eloquent terms, the condi- 
tion of our high-caste widows in her " High-caste Hindu 



28 



Widow" ; and I will only add this here, that but for the 
Sharada Sadana my wife's lot would have been the same as 
that of her more unhappy sisters. 

It is not easy to mention all the numerous advantages 
which my wife has derived from her stay of four years in the 
Sadana. She has come out of it with a keen love of knowl- 
edge and a mind enlarged and enlightened. In the time she 
was there she learned Marathi up to the fifth standard and 
English up to the third standard. This instruction is, in the 
first place, highly useful in itself to her ; and, second, it has 
filled her with a desire to learn more, — a desire which I am 
doing all that lies in my power to gratify. Her views about 
life and our work in this world have also been materially al- 
tered. She has becomefree from many of our degrading su- 
perstitions. She feels that she has now been raised to a 
sphere where she can render good work for her more un- 
fortunate sisters ; and life seems to her now to be a blessing 
instead of a curse. I find that she is an excellent housewife. 
The habits of neatness and order which she has acquired in 
the Sadana are of great use to us in managing our domestic 
affairs. In short, I find her to be an excellent wife and an 
excellent companion in life ; and I feel sure that in her com- 
pany, in the natural course of things, many happy days are in 
store for me. 

I will not conclude this letter without expressing on my 
own behalf, and on behalf of many enlightened Indians, our 
sense of gratitude to those noble-hearted ladies and gentle- 
men in America whose high ideas of benevolence and phi- 
lanthropy have been instrumental in bringing into existence 
an institution like the Sadana. I feel grateful to them : first, 
from a personal point, in that their Sadana has made my wife 
what she is ; and 1 also feel grateful to them as an educated 
Indian, deeply sympathizing with the degraded lot of our 
widows, and appreciating highly the generous benevolence 
which finds money for such an institution in so strange and 
distant a land. I must also express my gratitude to Pundita 
Ramabai, in whom the girls in the Sadana find a real mother. 



29 

and whose love of discipline and great capacity for manage- 
ment have made the Sadana so successful. With kindest re- 
gards, believe me, dear madam, 

Yours sincerely and gratefully, 

D. K. Karve. 
To Mrs. J. W. Andrews. 



Letter from Dr. Lyman Abbott. 

Mrs. Elliott Russell : 

My dear Madam, — I wish very much it were possible for 
me to be at the Annual Meeting of the Ramabai Association 
on March 12 ; but my duties and engagements here will 
make it impossible. I have the heartiest sympathy and ad- 
miration for this noble woman and her noble work, — work 
which is doing much for us in this country by the influence 
of her catholicity in showing us the folly, not to say the 
wickedness, of our denominational strife, as well as doing a 
beneficent work for her own people in India. To have any, 
even the least, share in this work I count as one of the 
greatest joys in my life. 

Yours respectfully, 

Lyman Abbott. 
no Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY., Feb. 17, 1894. 



RESIGNATION OF THE ADVISORY BOARD. 



The resignation of the three gentlemen who formed the 
Advisory Board in Poona was laid before the Association 
by the President, as follows : — 

Poona, 13th August, 1893. 
To Mrs. J. W. Andrews, Chairman of the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Ramabai Association, Boston, U.S.A. : 
Madam, — In the last letter written to you by one of us 
after the dissolution of the Managing Board (formed with the 
advice of your deputed agent. Miss Hamlin) it was stated 
that, as your Committee did not approve of the arrangements 
made by Miss Hamlin, we were unwilling to undertake any 
responsibility as an Advisory Board in regard to the Sharada 
Sadana, though we should be glad in our private capacity 
to lend Pundita Ramabai our help, when required. We are 
therefore surprised to find that in the reports published by 
you our names are still mentioned as constituting an Ad- 
visory Board in Poona. We have not met together ever 
since the dissolution of the old Board under your orders ; and 
no such Advisory Board as you mention has existed for the 
past two or three years. In the present condition of the 
Sadana there is a special reason why we cannot conscien- 
tiously allow our names to be connected with the institution. 
Encouraged, apparently, by some expressions contained in 
your Committee's communications, Pundita Ramabai has 
during the past year or so departed from the lines of strict 
neutrality on which the institution was started and managed 
for some time. We have strong reasons to believe that many 
of the girls are induced to attend her private prayers regu- 
larly, and read the Bible, and that Christian doctrines are 
taught to them. Pundita Ramabai has also shown her active 



31 

missionary tendencies by asking the parents and guardians 
of girls to allow them to attend her prayers, and in one case 
at least, to become Christians themselves ; and we are as- 
sured that two of the girls have declared to their elders that 
they have accepted Christ. Such a departure from the origi- 
nal understanding cannot fail, in our opinion, to shake the 
stability of the institution, and alienate public sympathy 
from this work. We are sorry our individual remonstrances 
with the Pundita Bai have proved of no avail. If the Sadana 
is to be conducted as an avowed proselytizing institution, 
we must disavow all connection with it. We beg you will 
take note of this declaration, and cease to mention our names 
as members of the Advisory Board. We have furnished a 
copy of this letter to Pundita Ramabai for her information 
also. Yours faithfully, 

R. G. Bhandarkar. 

M. G. Ranade. 

C. N. Bhat. 

At the suggestion of the President a vote of thanks was 
passed to these gentlemen for all the service which they 
have rendered to the Sharada Sadana. 



BY-LAWS. 



Article I. The members of this Association shall be such 
persons as shall pledge themselves to the payment of not less 
than one dollar per year for a period of ten years. The annual 
payment of one hundred dollars for ten years shall constitute a 
scholarship. Every member shall be entitled to vote at the an- 
nual meeting. 

Art. II. The various Ramabai Circles which have been or 
may be formed throughout the country may become branches of 
this Association. Any member of such branches, pledging the 
payment of not less than one dollar per year for ten years, shall 
be a member of this Association, and shall be entitled to vote at 
the annual meeting. 

Art. III. The officers of this Association shall consist of a 
President, not less than three Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, a 
Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Board of not 
less than seven Trustees, an Executive Committee consisting of 
not less than seven persons, and an Advisory Board of three 
members in India. All said officers shall be elected at the annual 
meeting, and shall hold their offices until others are elected and 
qualified in their stead. Any vacancies occurring in any of the 
offices of this Association may be filled by the Executive Com- 
mittee. 

Art. IV. The Board of Trustees shall manage and control all 
the property and affairs of the Association. 

Art. V. The annual meeting of the Association shall be held 
in March of each year at such time and place in Boston, Mass., as 
the President shall appoint. 

Art. VI. The Board of Trustees shall meet semi-annually at 
such time and place as its Chairman shall appoint. The Execu- 
tive Committee shall meet monthly at such time and place as its 
Chairman shall appoint. This Committee shall attend to all the 
business details of the Association, and report to the Board of 
Trustees as often as such Board shall direct. It shall also make 
an annual report to the Association. Special meetings of the 
Board of Trustees or of the Executive Committee may be called 
by their respective Chairmen, when necessary. 

Art. VII. The Advisory Board shall report to the Trustees 
upon such matters as may seem to them important, and upon such 
special matters as may be referred to them by the Association or 
by the Board of Trustees or by the Executive Committee. 

Art. VIII. These By-laws may be amended at the annual 
meeting of the Association or at any meeting called for the pur- 
pose, by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting. 



pupdita l^a/nabai. 

HER HISTORY AND HER WORK. 



^ ' p AM ABAI is the daughter of a Marathi priest. In his youth he saw his 
'■^ preceptor teaching Sanskrit to a royal princess and resolved that he 
would thus teach his own wife. But the relatives on both sides looked 
upon this as hardly less than insanity. There was no peace in the house 
and our liberal minded Marathi priest gave up the unequal contest. But 
forty years after his wife died, and on one of his pilgrimages he met at 
a sacred river, a learned Brahmin whose lovely little girl he married and 
then found it more easy to do as he would about her education. She was 
very bright, and glad to learn, but after a while his strange course excited 
so much comment that he resolved to retire from the world and carry out 
his ideas without further molestation. He accordingly sought a home in 
the forest of Gangamul, oh the Western Ghauts, in Hindustan, and here on 
the 23rd of April, 1858, Ramabai was born. She lived in entire seclusion 
and the consequent enjoyment of outdoor air and exercise; she was taught 
by the mighty ministries of Mother Nature, who has stamped her sanctities 
on this impressionable soul. Her earliest recollections are of the birds sing- 
ing in the morning twilight, at which time her mother, busy during the day 
with household cares, was wont to take little Ramabai in her arms to 
teach her the Sanskrit language. In this way and as they walked, later 
on, thousands of miles? on joilgrimages to sacred shrines, Ramabai learned 
twenty thousand verses from the poets and sayings of the philosophers." 

The father's reputation for sanctity and learning attracted to his 
mountain home many pilgrims, whom he was obliged to entertain according 
to the rules of eastern hospitality, and, his means being thus exhausted, on 
his death his family were left destitute. His wife survived him but a few 
months, and for the next four years Ramabai, then sixteen, and her young 
brother wandered on foot through various provinces of India, staying in 
the larger cities months at a time, the brother finding occupation as a 
teacher, and she as cook in some high-caste family, that being then the 
only employment open to a high-caste woman. This, however, gave her 
the best possible opportunity to know the customs in regard to women, and 
confirmed her determination to devote herself to their elevation. 

They finally reached Calcutta, and through a friend of her brother 
the pundits (professors) of the University learned of her attainments as a 
Sanskrit scholar, carefully examined into her acquirements, and as a result 
conferred upon her the title of Sarasvati, (the Hindu Minerva), no woman 
having received it before. After this followed two years of constant work, 
traveling, lecturing, and writing in the interest of Hindu women, native 
prinpesses often paying her expenses from place to place. The English 
admired and trusted her. Before their high commissions her word was 
taken as authority concerning the needs of those for whom she labored with 
unselfish devotion. She urged that native women should be trained as 
physicians and taught to teach. Measures were introduced having these 
ends in view. When she was twenty-two, her noble young brother died and 
Ramabai married a Bengalese gentleman, a lawyer whom she freely chose 



—this being an instance almost without precedent. He did not belong to 
her caste and she suffered much criticism on this account. The sufferings 
of an older daughter, betrothed in childhood to a boy who grew up unworthy 
of her, had led Ramabal's father to allow her to remain unmarried, and 
this independence on his part had much to do with Ramabai's remarkable 
career, though for it he was excommunicated. Ramabai's short married 
life with the husband of her choice was very happy, but he died suddenly 
of cholera, when they had been but two years married, leaving her a widow 
with an eight months' baby, when she was but twenty-four years old. 
Though her protection and support were thus suddenly cut off, Ramabai 
did not despair. She sold their little home, paid off the debts, wrote a book 
which brought her money enough for the journey, and i6 months after her 
husband's death set off across the unknown seas for England. This was 
in 1883. During these last years Ramabai had gradually cast off allegiance 
to the faith of her fathers, and though she was never a member of the 
Brahmo-Somaj, perceiving its theism to be higher and better than her 
Hinduism, she became a convert to its ideas and broke her caste, for which 
she received the anathemas of her people. But she had one of the bravest 
souls ever enshrined in clay, and so went on her widening way. unper- 
turbed by the criticisms of her people. Keshub Chunder Sen, leader of this 
movement, gave her a volume of selections from the sacred books of all 
nations, in which she read for the first time, Christ's Sermon on the Mount, 
and her interest in Christianity was aroused. Through the influence of a 
Hindu friend, whose answers to her doubts followed her to England, soon 
after her arrival there she became an avowed Christian, was baptized, and 
declared her acceptance of the Apostles' Creed, and her belief in Christ as 
the Master and Redeemer. But her acute mind finds it difficult to choose 
among the sects, so she annotmces herself as being in harmony with all, 
and has joined none. But every Christian grace blooms in her life, com- 
munion with God seems her most natural habit, and love to Him and all 
that He has made, her atmosphere. She found that a slight deafness, the 
result of scarlet fever, would prevent her from studying medicine. Professor 
Max Muller and other learned men took up her cause. She was made 
Professor of Sanskrit in Cheltenham College, where she remained until 
1886, when Dr. Joshee, who was her cousin, a lady of high caste, was to 
graduate from the Women's Medical College of Philadelphia, and the Pun- 
dita came over to see her and to study our educational methods. The death 
of Dr. Joshee soon after she returned to India, was a heavy blow to the 
Pundita and to the women's cause in Hindustan. 

After years of thought she had come to the conclusion that she could 
best help her country w^omen by fotmding in India a school for high caste 
child widows, and during her two and a half years in America every energy 
was directed to the accomplishment of this purpose, $25,000 being asked 
for its estabhshment, and $5,000 annually for ten years to carry it on. This 
work has a double purpose, first to fit the most affficted of God's creatures 
to support themselves, and second to furnish teachers to go into the zenanas 
(homes) of high caste women. All have heard of the system of child 
marriage in India, the betrothal taking place before the girl is nine years old 
and often when she is two or three, she then going to the home of her hus- 
band. Should this husband die, it is considered a punishment upon her for 
some horrible crime committed in a previous existence. If the widow be a 



mother of sons she is not usually a pitiable object, although she is certainly 
looked upon as a sinner. The widow-mother of girls is treated indifferently, 
and sometimes with special hatred. But it is the child-widow upon whom 
in an especial manner falls the abuse and hatred of the community as the 
greatest criminal upon whom Heaven's judgment has been pronounced. 
She must wear a single coarse garment, and eat only one meal during the 
twenty-four hours of a day. She must never take part in family feasts. A 
man or woman thinks it unlucky to behold a widow's face before seeing 
any other object in the morning. She is closely confined to the house, for- 
bidden even to associate with her female friends. Her life, then, destitute 
as it is of the least literary knowledge, void of all hope, empty of every 
pleasure and social advantage, becomes intolerable, a curse to herself 
and to society at large At the age of twenty-one, however, these 
women are legally free from the control of either their own or their husband's 
family, though penniless, and, being forbidden by their religion to marry 
again, can be counted upon to render years of useful work as a result of 
training given them. 

During her first year in America, Ramabai thoroughly studied the 
Kindergarten system in Philadelphia, and prepared her remarkable book 
"The High Caste Hindu Woman," of which 10,000 copies have been sold, 
the proceeds being devoted to publishing a series of illustrated school books, 
prepared by herself in the Marathi language, far superior to those in use in 
girls' schools there. In February, 1887, she spoke in Trinity Chapel, Boston, 
then first explaining her plan to a large audience, and many of all denomi- 
nations became interested. During the spring she addressed other meetings, 
and in May the Ramabai Association was formed, with an Advisory Board 
of influential Hindus in India, whose characters received the highest en- 
dorsement from prominent Englishmen. ^^etters arrived that autumn 
from these gentlemen promising co-operation, and the Association was 
legally incorporated in January, 1888. When Ramabai therefore sailed from 
San Francisco, the following October, she went as the representative of a 
responsible Association, pledged to support the reform to which she has 
consecrated her life. During the time spent here she had written and pub- 
lished " The High Caste Hindu Woman," of which 7,000 copies had been 
sold ; she had delivered for the Association over a hundred lectures, which 
lead to the formation of 55 Ramabai Circles, and 113 lectures for herself, 
from the proceeds of which she paid her indebtedness for board in England 
and America. ' ' Protected only by her womanliness and strong personality, 
she had travelled alone from Canada to the Pacific Coast ; had lectured in 
the larger cities and towns of nearl}'^ every State and Territory in the 
country, studying their charitable, philanthropic, and educational systems, 
neglecting nothing that might be helpful to her and her country ; and, in 
the midst of strange people, strange customs and habits, eating neither fish, 
flesh, nor fowl, nor anything containing even the germ of life, but strictly 
observant of the laws of health, had shown a degree of mental and physical 
endurance and accomplished an amount of work that was marvelous." 

Ramabai reached Bombay Feb. ist, 1889, and there on March nth the 
Sharada Sadan, or house of learning, opened with two scholars, one a high 
caste child widow, and one a paying pupil. One year from that date saw 
27 pupils in the school, 12 of them child widows, and the second anniversary 



■ 4' 

there were 40 pupils, 27 being child widows. Many of these are little 
children^taken away from the cruel oppression of the husband's family by 
the child's; parents, and placed under Ramabai's tender care. In November, 
1890, it was thought best,.because of expense and climate, to move the school 
from Bombay to Poonah, and now news has come of the purchase there of 
a house and grounds in every way suitable for a permanent home for the 
Sharada Sadan. A kindergarten training cla^s of sixteen is an important 
feature of the school, six of the pupils being sent by the authorities 
of government schools to 03 trains! as tea^hsrs by Ramabai. 

Since her return to India, Ramabai has met with much intense opposition 
from her own people, more on account of her change of faith than because 
of the work which she inaugurates, though that is entirely opposed to 
their social and religious traditions. She is also cut off from the sympathy 
of many missionaries as she is unwilling to enforce the study of Christianity, 
feeling convinced that would keep away the timid and oppressed class she 
wishes to help Other missionaries, however, heartily endorse the enterprise, 
feeling that it is truly Christ-like in its philanthropy. To all in America 
who can thus regard it, she made her appeal, but only asked its support for 
ten years, hoping that the work will by then have so commended itself to 
her countrymen that they will assume the responsibility. 

Since the friends secured by Ramabai in this country must of necessity 
decrease as the years pass, it is earnestly desired that new ones may arise 
to take their places, and by regular or occasional contributions insure to 
this heroic woman the $6,000 required annually to carry on the Sharada 
Sadan. 

The above review of her and her work consists largely of extracts from 
Miss Willard's " Sketch ' in the " Chautauquan,' and^from various reports, 
and is put together by • 

A. P. GRANGER, 
Jan. ist, 1892. Cor. Sec. of the Ramabai Ass'n. 



OFFICERS OF THE RAMABAI ASSOCIATION. 

PRESIDENT. 

REV. EDWARD E. HALE, D. D. 

VICE-PRESIDENTS. 

Rev. PHILLIPS BROOKS, D. D., Rev. GEORGE A. GORDON,' 

Miss FRANCES E. WILLARD, Mrs. MARY HEMENWAY, 

Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT, D. D. 

TREASURER, 

Mr. E. H. ferry, 222 Boylston St., Boston. 
corresponding secretary. 
Miss A. P. GRANGER, Canandaigua, N. Y. 

"The High- Caste Hindu Woman." by Ramabai, can be procured from 
The Women's Temperance Publication Association, 161 La Salle St., 
Chicago 111.; The Methodist Book Concern, 5th Ave. and 19th St., 
New York; and Damrell & "Upham, Cor. Washington and School Sts., 
Boston, Mass.; price. $1.25, with ten cts. extra for postage. 

News of Ramabai's work will be found in "Lend-a-Hand," publushel 
in Boston; yearly subscription $2.00.